Take a look at the following AP article about Mary Kay. Now, you might ask…why would I have an article about Mary Kay on MY website? No, I haven’t decided to become a make-up diva…I’ll leave that to my buddy Stephanie. BUT, this article is a testimony that home-based businesses are thriving. I am guessing you visit my blog because of an interest in scrapbooking and stamping; perhaps you might just be interested in turning your hobby into some real income. If so, I’d love to visit with you and share my business opportunity. Email me and let’s get together…our new Idea Book and Catalog comes out July 1 and this is a perfect time to get started!
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Armies of new Avon
ladies, Mary Kay reps and Tupperware sellers are advancing on living
rooms across the country, their ranks full of professionals forced to
take a second job amid the recession.
Becke Alexander, sales
manager for New York-based Avon Products Inc., hears each week from
laid-off bankers and stay-at-home moms, but also gainfully employed
people worried how long they’ll stay that way. All of them are willing
to knock on doors, host parties or do whatever else it takes to peddle
“‘I need money.’ That’s what I’ve been hearing
since about November,” Alexander said. “There are no hobby seekers
coming here. It’s people with a legitimate need.”
shrinking bonuses and scaled-back hours have pushed more people than
ever to become direct sales representatives, a phenomenon industry
experts say they’ve seen before.
In the 1990-1991 recession,
the number of direct sellers increased 8 percent to 5.1 million
Americans. In the 2001 recession, the work force increased to 12.2
And while 2008 figures are not yet available, in 2007
an estimated 15 million people nationwide were in direct sales. Some 58
percent of became reps as a second job, according to the Direct Selling
Association, a trade group that represents 200 U.S. companies.
When money began getting tight in Nicole Robinson’s household in
Garland, Texas, the full-time pharmaceutical sales rep signed up to
host Mary Kay parties and give facials, working just six hours to make
about $600 a week.
“Costs aren’t going down and opportunities
are tightening up. Raises and bonuses aren’t as big. And I didn’t want
to ever be in a situation where we were in jeopardy,” said Robinson,
who joined Mary Kay Cosmetics Inc. in September.
declined at the international cell phone company her husband works for,
she said, and they wanted to continue their moderate lifestyle and
contribute to their children’s college funds.
“We were looking
for a plan B for our family to make additional income,” she said. “We
really didn’t want to participate in the recession.”
Shasteen, chief marketing director for Mary Kay, said the Addison,
Texas-based company saw traffic on its Web site increase by 108 percent
in March, when the company began airing television ads to attract new
The sales force grew 22 percent from January to
March, compared with the same period last year. The privately owned
company wouldn’t say whether its profits also increased during that
Orlando, Fla.-based Tupperware Brands said globally
it’s making more money and has more people selling its products,
spokeswoman Nora Alonso said.
Direct sales reps can earn
commissions between 25 to 50 percent of retail sales, and some
companies will also pay for recruiting a new sales person. Direct
sellers also can earn rewards, too, including jewelry, handbags,
furniture, appliances, cars and vacations.
There can be
expenses. It costs about $10 to get the Avon starter kit of products
and brochures, and some companies require the sales people to purchase
products wholesale and then resell them. Mary Kay consultants purchase
mascara for $7.50; the company recommends they sell it for twice that.
Companies that are members of the Direct Selling Association are
required to have buyback programs where they refund at least 90 percent
of costs to sales representatives who get stuck with products.
During stronger economies, people usually take on direct sales jobs so
they can have money for leisure spending, said Larry Chonko, business
ethics professor at The University of Texas at Arlington.
“Times are tough as we know and there is an absolute need for extra
income,” Chonko said. “Direct sales is not recession-proof, but it is
the kind of business that even in a recession you can make success of
it. And if you create a solid foundation now, then just wait until the
economy comes out of the down cycle and goes into an up cycle.”
Melanie Lyke, 29, of Thompson’s Station, Tenn., began working as an
Avon independent sales rep in November to supplement her income after a
slowdown in the family’s company, which makes training and demo videos
“This is a great solution for people in need
because I work at my own pace,” Lyke said. “All you need is a clear
goal and be determined to reach it.”